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Jones act victory

2.2 Million Dollar Verdict in Jones Act Case Against Skanska 

Vuk Vujasinovic

Vuk Vujasinovic


VB Attorneys has a long and distinguished history of fighting for the rights of injured seamen. We have a proven track record of success in obtaining compensation for our clients, even when they are up against massive corporations like Skanska.

In this case, our client, Mr. Moak, was severely injured on one of Skanska's ships when an 800-pound headache ball landed on his foot and ankle. The injury resulted in significant pain, disability, and many surgeries. This was made worse by the fact that Skanska failed to take care of their injured employee.

Here is the story of Mr. Moak.

The Situation

Mr. Moak and his crew were still working at approximately 7:00 PM, an hour and a half after their shift was scheduled to end at 5:30 PM. The tugboat was pushing a barge with a large industrial crane on it, attempting to transport it from the bay to the Skanska yard on the north shore.

The tugboat captain, Robbie Hill, instructed Mr. Moak to stand at the front of the barge so he could provide the captain with distance measurements as they approached the Skanska yard. Mr. Moak complied with the order.

At this time, the Skanska crane operator, Steve Winfield, moved the crane's arm, causing the headache ball to strike Mr. Moak's left foot and ankle, knocking him to the deck of the barge.

The headache ball is attached to the crane's lifting hook and is used to add weight to the crane rope to keep the crane lines tight. Skanska employees estimate that the headache ball weighs approximately 800 pounds.

After months of seeking treatment and not getting it from Skanska, Mr. Moak hired our firm. We got to work on his case and get him to the specialists that Skanska wouldn’t let him see. Mr. Moak was diagnosed with a Bone Contusion that has developed into Avascular Necrosis, and a Deep Peroneal Nerve Compression. These required multiple surgeries.

The Fight

Our attorneys alleged Skanska's negligence and unseaworthiness caused the crane ball to hit Moak's foot, causing deep bruising and nerve compression. Skanska then failed to provide Moak with proper medical care, which caused additional injuries.

Prior to trial, the defendant offered our client a settlement of less than  $750,000. We were able to obtain a verdict of $2.2 million for Mr. Moak, which is three times the amount of the settlement offer. We are very pleased with this outcome and are thrilled for our client.


Protect Your Rights After a Maritime Injury

If you or someone you know has been injured while working at sea, it is important to seek legal assistance from a maritime attorney who can help you understand your rights and options. Our Jones Act Attorneys have extensive experience handling maritime injury cases. We understand the complex laws and regulations that govern maritime law, and we are committed to fighting for the rights of injured seamen and their families.

Topics: Featured, Jones Act